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Dowagiac, Michigan

49047

 

 

In 1847, Nicholas Chesbrough, a right of way buyer for the Michigan Central Railroad, and Jacob Beeson, of Niles, bought of Patrick Hamilton 80 acres and first platted the village, recording the plat on February 16 1848. This village was named after the river, which on early maps is spelt Dowagiake, but when the railroad came through late in 1848, they gave it its present spelling.

According to Michael B. Williams, of Niles, titular head of all the Pottawattomi Indians in the U.S., the original word was Ndowagayuk or foraging ground, meaning that in this area the Indian could fill all his needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

In October of 1848, Arad C. Balch became the first postmaster. This land was incorporated as a village in 1863 and as a city in 1877.

 

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